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Class Meetings

The class group will meet every Thursday:

  • Lectures - Tuesday, 5:20 PM - 8:20 PM Physics P122

Attendance at all class meetings is expected and will be taken in to account in grading.

Required Materials

Given the large scope and multidisciplinary approach to the lectures, there is no textbook requirement for this course. However I strongly recommend to buy the book: Life's Matrix: A Biography of Water, by Phillip Ball. It is available in Amazon for less than $24. All other materials will be provided by the lecturer, and will be available on this webpage or, when necessary due to copyright issues, in Blackboard.


There will not be a final exam. There will be two Midterm “Longer Quizzes”. Students will also do short presentations of topics chosen with the instructor toward the end of the semester. The grades for this course will be determined according to the following breakdown

  • Midterm 1: 10%
  • Midterm 2: 10%
  • Class Quizzes: 10%
  • Homework: 10%
  • In Class presentations 20%
  • Attendance at lectures: 40%

Letter grades for this course will be awarded taking into account that this is a very heterogeneous course and the background of the students need not be in physics. Therefore hard work and active participation in lectures will be taken into account heavily in awarding grades.


Not every week a homework assignment will be handed in. However I will expect students to do some work at home, which might range from a reading exercise to an essay of the topic covered during the class. These exercises will have a higher weight on the total grade.


There will be 1 3h lecture a week, with active participation including the use of CPS clicker devices (these will be provided, you do not need to get your own). Lecture notes will be posted on line before each class.


There will be two easy midterm exams. These midterm exams will simply be a collection of quizzes and questions that were asked during the lectures. The purpose of these exams is simply to reward attendance and class attention.

Academic Integrity

Each student must pursue his or her academic goals honestly and be personally accountable for all submitted work. Representing another person's work as your own is always wrong. Faculty are required to report any suspected instance of academic dishonesty to the Academic Judiciary. For more comprehensive information on academic integrity, including categories of academic dishonesty, please refer to the academic judiciary website at

Disability Support Services (DSS)

If you have a physical, psychological, medical, or learning disability that may impact your course work, please contact Disability Support Services, ECC (Educational Communications Center) Building, room 128, (631) 632-6748 or They will determine with you what accommodations are necessary and appropriate. All information and documentation is confidential.

Critical Incident Managment

Stony Brook University expects students to respect the rights, privileges, and property of other people. Faculty are required to report to the Office of Judicial Affairs any disruptive behavior that interrupts their ability to teach, compromises the safety of the learning environment, and/or inhibits students' ability to learn.

syllabus.txt · Last modified: 2011/08/25 22:22 by marivi
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